Moscow, July 20th 2009

Last Tuesday on July 14th the International Classic Cars Rally «Golden Ring» finished in the center of Moscow. All the participants fought hard for the main prize - a golden watch Legenda designed only in 6 pieces especially for the sixth edition of the «Golden Ring» Rally.

In four days the crews from Russia, Italy, Great Britain, USA and Switzerland passed 1211 km with 86 ability trials. This year the route covered the territories of six Russian provinces and went through the most picturesque towns of the Russian Golden Ring: Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, Suzdal, Yuriev-Polskiy, Pereslavl-Zalessky and Sergiev Posad.
















On Saturday July 11th 35 cars started from the Red Square in Moscow. Alfa Romeo RL SS year 1925 with the starting number one was a true star of this race, but stayed on the scene until the other more young competitors left for the race: the organizing committee decided to postpone the participation of this rarity until the next year considering the specifics of driving such a car. Another legend of world automobile manufacturing was represented by an original Land Rover from 1949, - the crew took part only in the first leg of the rally and finished successfully in Yahroma Park where the 1st Stage prize-giving ceremony took place: Teymur Aliev and Dmitriy Soloviev on Alfa Romeo Spider, 1968 took the 1st place. Tatiana Pankovskaya with her daughter Anna on Peugeot 203 C, 1953 were second and the third place was also taken by the female crew - Anna Lepetuhina and Tatiana Titova on Austin Healey 3000, 1963.

The organizers of the rally also awarded Franco Lombardi - he was driving Fiat 124 Sport Spider, 1968 as the most experienced driver. "The youngest participant" cup was presented to Luca Bordogna - a co-pilot of another Fiat 600, 1962. The crew from Switzerland Stephan Wursten and Severine Wegmuller on Volvo 242, 1978 were awarded with traditional cup given for the longest trip to the start of the rally.

On Sunday morning the participants fully enjoyed their classic cars on the secure roads of the testing ground of the Dmitrov Poligon. This leg of the rally is considered to be the most difficult and has no equivalent in the world, counting more than 20 connected ability trials.

Results of the second day showed that the best female crew was that of the ladies on Austin Healey who took third place in overall classification. Second place was taken by the main favorite of the rally Alberto Bordogna and his son Luca on a Fiat 600, 1962, while the winners of the first place from the previous day maintained their position. The award ceremony for the second stage took place in ancient Uglich during the dinner at the haute-cuisine restaurant on a bank of Volga-river.






































On the third day 23 crews continued the race. The others returned to their offices in Moscow as they had registered to participate only in the first two days of the rally due to the extreme workload in these difficult times. However, this did not stop them from actively supporting the running crews during the last two days. Nikita Gudkov the Russian regularity champion sent his GAZ 69, 1967 back to the famous Autoreview Magazine Automuseum and followed the rally on his modern Alfa Romeo, since the average speed of the long route from Yaroslavl to Suzdal would exceed the capabilities of a military retro-vehicle.

Starting from Uglich the third leg of the rally went through the national park and museum «Yaroslavlskiy Kremlin», where the participants could appreciate the fine hospitality and spirituality of the place, crossed Kostroma with its incredible views of the Volga-river and stopped in the old Russian town of Ivanovo, where the local authorities actively supported the pilots during the competition on the Kokuy boulevard. The longest day of the rally finished in Suzdal in Pushkarskaya Sloboda, where the participants were greeted by representatives of local authorities with a traditional Russian bread-and-salt and famous "medovukha" - an old Russian honey-based light alcoholic beverage. After the dinner the most responsible competitors were still studying the times table of the last day. This year the organizers introduced special stages with overlapping time values, what forced even the most experienced participants to continue calculating the route itineraries of the final day until early morning. Remarkably, even in the circumstances of strong competition, the crews came together to solve this difficult task.

The route of the last of the rally carried on through the most picturesque landscapes of the Golden Ring - the lands around Yuriev-Polskiy, where the vast fields spread on both sides of the road often remind of the famous Tuscany landscapes. The warm hospitality of this town had already become a legend of the rally, and participants once again could appreciate the local "kvas" - traditional Russian rye-bread drink, and the taste of ice cream, a childhood memory. This year the local authorities took upon themselves the full organization of secure passage of cars through the special stages on central streets. This appeared as significant help for the rally organizers, and allowed town residents and guests to enjoy the unforgettable show with rare classic cars passing under the walls of the old town.

The prize-giving ceremony took place at the theatre of the Count Sheremetev's Summer Palace, villa-museum Ostankino. The winner of the VI International Classic Cars Rally «Golden Ring» became Alberto Bordogna and his son Luca. Artem Erizyan, the president of the Watch and Jewellery Manufacturer Zolotoe Vremya, presented the winner with the main prize - Legenda golden watch.

"I have been participating in the classic cars rallies for more than 15 years now, and my track record is more than forty competitions. I am happy that our crew won, especially because the professional level of the participating crews grows year on year, - commented Alberto Bordogna. - Equally important is the cultural programe of the rally, - an incredible feeling you get from visiting the old Russian towns of the Golden Ring, from seeing the beautiful landscapes. Arrival of classic cars in these towns is always like a public holiday for its residents."

Second place in the general classification was awarded to the crew of Alfa Romeo Spider, 1968 piloted by Teymur Aliev and Dmitriy Soloviev, who also won the national classification showing the best result among the Russian crews. Third place was taken by the best female crew Tatiana and Anna Pankovskaya on Peugeot 203 C, 1953.

The traditional cup for the "Best Debut" was awarded to Francois and Evgenia Raulier, Alfa Romeo Guilietta, 1960: it was the first time that they took part in the rally and showed the best results among the newcomers. "Best Family Crew" cup was taken by Olga and Pavel Pankovsky on VW Beetle 1300, 1970. The cup "Will to Win" was awarded to Dmitriy and Elena Logunov on Lancia Flaminia GT, 1964. The "Best International Crew" was rightfully presented to Fabio Mondini and Elena Zonova on МGA Sebring, 1959.

«Golden Ring» rally is not about competing on speed, but rather on precision of passing the mapped route: it is necessary to cover the distances between the time control points within the certain time, specified strictly to the second, and to cover the special stages with precision of 1/100 of a second which was controlled by DIGITECH equipment managed personally by Antonio Viaro. From 2009 «Golden Ring» is classified as FIVA event category "A".

"This type of competition is relatively new to our country, and we are glad to see that each year there is a growing interest for this noble sport,- commented Boris Bazhenin, president of Classic Car Club. - This year the participants showed a high class in driving especially the female crews. It is good to see that events such as «Golden Ring» make it possible for a growing number of people in Russia to appreciate oldtimers, to embrace the spirit of a classic cars rally and to experience an unprecedented joy from driving historical cars, every one of which is a masterpiece of automobile manufacturing."

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